Bulgarian watchdog threatens Energo Pro

26 May 2016, Week 20 Issue 811

The Bulgarian competition regulator has accused power distribution company Energo Pro of abusing its dominant position on the local electricity market.

The Commission for Protection of Competition claims that the Czech-owned company has violated Article 21, Item 5 of the country’s Competition Protection Act in what is just its latest crackdown on the local power market.

The watchdog objected to Energo Pro’s refusal to sign a long-term agreement to buy power produced from renewable sources under the preferential price set by the country’s energy watchdog. The commission said this move could prevent, restrict or violate the competition and have an impact on interested consumers.

The commission held that after a contract on access between Energo-Pro Networks and Nurmet 1 has been signed, the applicant filed to Energo-Pro Sales a request to sign an agreement on the purchase of power produced by a photovoltaic (PV) plant in the village of Paisievo.

However, the request was refused, a move motivated by the decision of the end-supplier for failing to comply with the rules in the network accession procedure. Based on the existing regulations, the refusal of Energo-Pro Saes was considered unjustified.

The regulator issued a statement of objection to Energo Pro Grid for abusing its dominant position in the market of connecting clients’ sites to the electricity distribution grid.

It said Energo Pro’s refusal prevented Kayko from running a normal operation. Kayko was forced to stop operating as an industrial client of electricity.

This loss affected consumers because they could not access goods or services produced and provided by Kayko. It should be noted, however, that the commission did not clarify why Energo Pro’s refusal to connect Kayko was unjustified.

For its part, Energo Pro said last week that it had not received any notification from the watchdog. It also denied any wrongdoing. According to the power distributor, it complies with state legislation, which regulates conditions under which contracts for buying power generated from renewable sources are signed.

The watchdog said Energo Pro had 30 days to protest against the findings.

Edited by

Richard Lockhart

Editor

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